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This article aims to reconstruct and analyze debates centring on normal eye and vision standards during the second half of the 19 century in Europe. It particularly addresses the creation of ophthalmology charts, one of the main tools for measuring visual acuity. Having briefly described the historical context in which modern eye charts were developed, we will present the better known ones of these and their characteristics. We will then analyze ophthalmologists' debates about what constitutes a normal eye and normal vision, and show the discrepancy between established definitions and clinical studies. Finally, we will consider the issue of measuring eyesight while focusing, on the one hand, on specialists' desire to create a standardized framework to measure visual acuity and, on the other hand, on the multiple hurdles that hindered achieving that goal.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Canadian bulletin of medical history = Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la medecine
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Vision considered to be inferior to normal vision as represented by accepted standards of acuity, field of vision, or motility. Low vision generally refers to visual disorders that are caused by diseases that cannot be corrected by refraction (e.g., MACULAR DEGENERATION; RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA; DIABETIC RETINOPATHY, etc.).
Application of tests and examinations to identify visual defects or vision disorders occurring in specific populations, as in school children, the elderly, etc. It is differentiated from VISION TESTS, which are given to evaluate/measure individual visual performance not related to a specific population.
Defects of color vision are mainly hereditary traits but can be secondary to acquired or developmental abnormalities in the CONES (RETINA). Severity of hereditary defects of color vision depends on the degree of mutation of the ROD OPSINS genes (on X CHROMOSOME and CHROMOSOME 3) that code the photopigments for red, green and blue.
Type of vision test used to determine COLOR VISION DEFECTS.
Failure or imperfection of vision at night or in dim light, with good vision only on bright days. (Dorland, 27th ed)